The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA) assures that the status of the frank whales of the North Atlantic is critical. It is estimated that 17 of a total of 450 have died in 2017. According to the declarations of the federal officials of the USA, these animals need an urgent intervention or otherwise, their disappearance will be irreversible.
The right whales of the North Atlantic owe their name, original of the English Right Whale , for being a “correct” species or appropriate and easy to hunt. Their friendly nature makes them approach the boats and, in turn, allow the boats to approach them. In this way, the main threats to these animals are the loss of habitat, anthropic disturbances (caused by humans), entanglement in fishing nets and collisions with boats.
During the spring and summer seasons they frequent the waters of Canada and New England, where precisely all the deaths of this last year have occurred, to feed after childbirth in warmer areas at low latitude.
“You have to use the word of extinction because that’s where the trend lines say they are,” said John Bullard, Regional Administrator of Noaa Fisheries. “That’s something we can not allow to happen.”
It is estimated that females are the most affected and there are only 100 offspring of this genus. To this must be added the aggravating circumstance that, by nature, the female right whales of the North Atlantic only give birth every 3 or 4 years.
A fight that does not stop
The right whales of the North Atlantic lived a similar context at the beginning of the 20th century. However, the current indices are not better, and reveal that their status has only worsened.
The poor reproduction and the high mortality rate have marked the 2017 of these aquatic mammals. But, this situation has been warning scientists since 2010, when the number of specimens began to decrease alarmingly.
Numerous scientific studies have focused on this issue and have tried to determine why the number of deaths of whales has skyrocketed. One of the possible answers is that whales could be endangered by venturing out of protected areas in search of food. In addition, it has been shown that, when an animal suffers long entanglements in fishing nets, it suffers a high stress, negatively affecting its ability to reproduce.
Mark Murray-Brown , consultant to NOOA’s Endangered Species Act, says the United States and Canada must work immediately to reduce whale deaths.
With all this panorama, it is not surprising that the frank whales of the North Atlantic are among the most threatened of the great cetaceans.